At the talks (Photo: VNA)

Seoul (VNA)
– Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien on June 27 expressed his hope that the Republic of Korea (RoK) will advance from the second biggest source of tourists to Vietnam to the largest one in the future.

During the talks with his RoK counterpart Park Yang-woo in Seoul on June 27, Thien said tourism is one of the key cooperation areas between Vietnam and the East Asian country.

He also highlighted cultural exchanges between the two countries, saying Vietnam has organised many major festival in the RoK while RoK businesses like CJ Group have invested in the cultural sector in Vietnam.

Thien took the occasion to thank the RoK side for its support in training Vietnamese athletes in the country, including the men’s football squad and shooting athletes.

For his part, Park told his guest that 28 million Koreans travelled abroad last year, of whom more than 4 million came to Vietnam.

Up to 4.5 million RoK holiday-makers are expected to visit Vietnam this year, he said, noting his hope that the number of Vietnamese tourists to the RoK will increase sharply in the time ahead.

Mentioning the recent tourist boat accident involving RoK passengers in Hungary, the minister suggested the Vietnamese Government pay more attention to ensuring safety for RoK tourists in the country.

He also informed that the RoK designated September 2-8 as the welcome week for Vietnamese holiday-makers.

The RoK is willing to share its experience in cultural and sport development with Vietnam, he said, adding that apart from football and shooting, the RoK has strength in archery and taekwondo and stands ready to invite Vietnamese athletes to the country for training.

The minister said the RoK is launching a programme which offers chances for Vietnamese young people to visit the RoK and explore local culture, and hoped that the programme will continue to be rolled out in the future.

He called on the Vietnamese Government to support RoK enterprises operating in the culture sphere in Vietnam, and license Korean language teaching centres in Ho Chi Minh City.

While in the RoK, Thien and his entourage visited the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK on June 26.

He is scheduled to visit Vietnam’s tourism promotion office in the country on June 28.-VNA